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FreshDirect trucks flout road rules, causing traffic headaches

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FreshDirect trucks are getting rotten reviews for his or her parking.

The brazen delivery drivers are co-opting long stretches of Big Apple streets, creating traffic headaches and dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bikers by double- and triple-parking — and in some cases, entering into heated verbal altercations with passersby, peeved residents charge.

“They’re taking ownership of town and we’re allowing it through neglect,” griped Andrew Effective, vp of the East 86th Street Association, who recently tweeted a video of the trucks double-parked along Lexington Avenue.

The Post in late September observed one FreshDirect truck double-parked with none activity for over an hour near East 84th Street and Lexington Avenue, in morning rush-hour traffic. One other was parked for no less than a hour partially of the left-turn lane near East 84th Street and 2nd Avenue. A truck also double-parked near West sixtieth Street and Columbus Avenue for several minutes to gather empty delivery boxes throughout the afternoon rush-hour.

FreshDirect trucks block traffic on Columbus Avenue.Stefan Jeremiah

Business vehicles are only allowed to double park for a maximum of 20 minutes, while actively loading or unloading, in response to the DOT.

“They put us on a spot and we just gotta do what we gotta do,” said deliveryman Jahsheem Simon, 26. “We are able to’t necessarily move.” 

The net grocery service, whose annual net sales exceed $700 million, delivers all the pieces from eggs to prepared antipasti to cleansing supplies to customers’ doors.

Joel Reiss said he almost got mowed down due to the trucks' negligence. Joel Reiss said he almost got mowed down on account of the trucks’ negligence. Stefan Jeremiah

Locals complained that the trucks are creating hazards for pedestrians and others who share the streets. 

This past December, a moped rider fatally crashed right into a double-parked FreshDirect truck at East 76th Street and 1st Avenue. Joel Reiss, a partner on the restaurant Who’s Jac. W? on 2nd Avenue, said that he almost got mowed down by a automobile when crossing East 84th Street this summer because a FreshDirect truck had parked within the left-turn lane, obscuring the motorist’s view.

“It’s definitely not helping the situation,” complained David Markowitz, a technology marketing executive. “After I ride my bike to the park … they push me out into the center of the road.”

A FreshDirect box truck lingers on 49th Street.A FreshDirect box truck lingers on forty ninth Street.Stefan Jeremiah

Residents say some delivery men are turning sidewalks into break rooms and even scrapping with neighbors. 

“These guys [are] sitting on the tree pits, using them as an ashtray, and certainly one of them turned around and began cursing at [my husband], threatening him,” said resident Orah Massarsky. “Same thing happens to the doorman, same thing happens to the super.”

Council Member Julie Menin, who represents the Upper East Side, told The Post that these practices by FreshDirect “creates issues of safety for pedestrians, for cyclists, for vehicles, along with causing environmental concerns” and recently introduced a bill to extend penalties for idling trucks.

FreshDirect worker, Jahsheem Simon, 26, consults on the sidewalk. FreshDirect employee, Jahsheem Simon, 26, consults on the sidewalk.

FreshDirect didn’t reply to a request for comment. 

An NYPD spokesperson said the nineteenth Precinct was aware of complaints about FreshDirect trucks commonly double parking within the Upper East Side. It’s “working to deal with this condition, issuing multiple warnings and summonses,” they said.

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